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Is this game still alive?


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#1 biotech66

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:44 AM

So, I'm a new player.  SO new infact I haven't bought a single card.  I lover the other LCGs, but I don't know if this game is going to be around in another year.  Whats the feelings from the player base?  I love the mythos, but I'm don't want to waste money when FF has many other ways to get it from me.  Thoughts?



#2 Jan

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:11 AM

Like Danigral, another forum user, said: That depends on your local gaming community. If you can find opponents, then yes; this game is alive. There's also activity around the events which I am not familiar with. But the forums are in a down period right now, because we seem to be between releases of new content.

The game in itself is fantastic, but the community needs better representation :).



#3 Danigral

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:14 AM

I have a feeling that there is much more of a casual player-base than a competitive player-base for CoC. We don't see a lot of traffic on this forum, or much discussion of the game at a competitive level. Competitions are also not extremely well-attended. That being said, this game is fantastic - it has a depth of deckbuilding and gameplay that are unmatched by most of the other LCGs, and the mechanics are creative and provide for a lot of different strategies. I suspect that the brand isn't as flashy as some of the other licenses that many players approach this more as a "theme game." I really wish that this game had more notoriety, however you do what you can with it. I found a couple of players in my area, and there are some good online options.

Treating it like a card game with expansions like Dominion and playing it like a board game with your game group may be a good approach, just like many players do for Game of Thrones. In fact, FFGs move to change it's distribution format may merely be them aligning themselves with how players tend to approach it.

So it depends on if you want to play it competitively, and how many LCGs you want to get into. If you only want to do 1 or a couple, and play competitively, it's sad to say that you may have better options in AGoT or Netrunner.



#4 Yipe

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:00 AM

In my experience, it depends on what you're looking for out this game.  If you want a good-sized player pool and regular tournaments, that's probably going to take some work on your end.  If all you want is an opponent, then find a friend that's interested and you're good to go.

Here in Portland we have a monthly meet up to play Cthulhu.  We usually have bewteen 8-14 players attend.  Every few months we hold a tournament. The community is small but strong, and everyone is having a good time, so it's definitely not dead.

Creating this group wasn't easy though, and I spent several months hustling, advertising and bribing people to give the game a try.  In the end it worked (we had 19 players at our Regional Championship, and I've hosted 2 tournaments since then).  We have lost a few players over the course of this year, but we've also gained some new ones which is critical to keeping enthusiasm high within the group.

Hosting a series of demos and having some kind of free give away (e.g. FFG Game Kits) or support from a local game store can really help establish a community.  I bribed people with domain cards and a free round of beer if they sat down to play a hand.  Yes, it's probably gonna mean cash out of your own pocket, but if that's what it takes…

 

 



#5 Jan

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:46 AM

That's the way we do it. I make my collection available to the playgroup and we have a lot of fun. The games have really started to open up since I added a complete cycle to the core sets and the copy of Secrets of Arkham. Recommended. You get to see when the game shines, and expose yourself to the lure of further purchases. :)

#6 Darkman

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:30 PM

This game indeed is truly a great one. Its sad to see that this good a game is not getting the attention other (inferiour) LCGs are getting. I only play with one other person but its enough for me to keep the game alive.



#7 Jan

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:10 AM

Do you both keep your own decks?



#8 Runix

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:24 AM

This is certainly one of the most complex and rewarding of the deckbuilding games, but for a number of reasons it tends to get overshadowed by the others.  A Game of Thrones and Star Wars both have more devoted followers thanks to large groups of fans of the respective series, so both have correspondingly larger player bases; and within the Cthulhu theme, Arkham Horror tends to attract more players as it's more accessible and well suited for large groups.  Meanwhile, Netrunner has attracted some of the most serious of the competitive CCG/LCGers, and with AGoT may have the most active competitive scene.  So while CoC is a great game, it's just a bit overshadowed by some of the other titles.

I don't think FFG will be pulling the plug on CoC, though.  I think it's a title that players may gravitate toward as they look for deeper challenges in deckbuilding and creative play.  I am seeing more shelf space at local game stores for LCGs thanks to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, AGoT, and Netrunner, and I think it's entirely possible CoC may actually benefit from that.

(Warhammer, on the other hand, is clearly struggling in the U.S., and I don't know of any players who actively play it, although I understand it's quite popular in Europe.)



#9 Silverset

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:01 AM

I am new to this game and I am trying to stir up some interest here in East Texas.  I feel the vibe y'all are throwing out there!  It's like pulling teeth to get people to try it out.  Since I took the plunge I have been on a backlog rampage!!  I have picked up everything except for Dreamlands, Rituals of the Order, and Forgotten Lore Cycles.  The FLGS in my area has really started to push the FF LCGs and I have seen everything get picked up EXCEPT CoC (except by me, of course).  The owner has informed me that they are going to start having a FF LCG event twice a month soon.  This will be a great way to recruit new players!    



#10 Jan

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:44 AM

Silverset said:

I am new to this game and I am trying to stir up some interest here in East Texas.  I feel the vibe y'all are throwing out there!  It's like pulling teeth to get people to try it out.  Since I took the plunge I have been on a backlog rampage!!  I have picked up everything except for Dreamlands, Rituals of the Order, and Forgotten Lore Cycles.  The FLGS in my area has really started to push the FF LCGs and I have seen everything get picked up EXCEPT CoC (except by me, of course).  The owner has informed me that they are going to start having a FF LCG event twice a month soon.  This will be a great way to recruit new players!    

 

I recommend you take the trip over to cardgamedb as there has been a lot of activity there recently making top 10 lists for each faction.



#11 KrissS666

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:41 AM

I was a gamer playing at least 2 games per weeks at Coc, but since few months i discovered A game of throne and start to realize why Coc is falling.

It's just my opinion of course, but there are some weird mechanics when you compare with Game of throne :

- stories in coc are totally useless : it's random pick with various power (and generally nobody want to activate the card!!)
- in a game of throne you use a "plot" in a second own deck , so you select and choose the card depend of situation. With star wars, you build too, but it's random pick (at least you build cards according to your deck !!) .
Lot of plot give bonus only at the owner of the card

- sourcing card in Coc means you draw 2 card and only play 1 (at least the 5 first turns) =>
 * you draw 8 cards
* ressource 3 you can't use anymore (setup)
* you draw 2 cards
* ressource 1 card you can't use anymore


- sourcing card in game of throne : don't exist: you use ALL cards you draw =>
 * you draw 7 cards
 * put into play as many cards you can for a total of 5 golds (setup)
 * draw as many cards to have your hand completed (7 cards)
 * draw 2 cards to start the game
So basically you draw an average total of 12 cards and all cards stay in your hand or can be played

I  can't say  thoses differences make the game less attractive than others, but when you deckbuild and play, you really have a better control of your game by drawing more cards and control your plots !

That's my personnal feeling about Coc !



#12 Danigral

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:17 AM

KrissS666 said:

I was a gamer playing at least 2 games per weeks at Coc, but since few months i discovered A game of throne and start to realize why Coc is falling.

It's just my opinion of course, but there are some weird mechanics when you compare with Game of throne :

- stories in coc are totally useless : it's random pick with various power (and generally nobody want to activate the card!!)
- in a game of throne you use a "plot" in a second own deck , so you select and choose the card depend of situation. With star wars, you build too, but it's random pick (at least you build cards according to your deck !!) .
Lot of plot give bonus only at the owner of the card

- sourcing card in Coc means you draw 2 card and only play 1 (at least the 5 first turns) =>
 * you draw 8 cards
* ressource 3 you can't use anymore (setup)
* you draw 2 cards
* ressource 1 card you can't use anymore


- sourcing card in game of throne : don't exist: you use ALL cards you draw =>
 * you draw 7 cards
 * put into play as many cards you can for a total of 5 golds (setup)
 * draw as many cards to have your hand completed (7 cards)
 * draw 2 cards to start the game
So basically you draw an average total of 12 cards and all cards stay in your hand or can be played

I  can't say  thoses differences make the game less attractive than others, but when you deckbuild and play, you really have a better control of your game by drawing more cards and control your plots !

That's my personnal feeling about Coc !

I appreciate that this is your opinion, but I don't think that it's as simple as saying that CoC is failing because of mechanics, since they're both good games. (I'm not apt to say the same of SW, but that's a different matter.)

The plot mechanic in AGoT is brilliant, but since resources are easier to manage without consideration to your cards in your deck, turn-by-turn decisions are about short-term tactical advantage. I also think it's slightly inaccurate to imply that you use all cards you draw in AGoT, but not in CoC, since resources are being used. In AGoT you have resource locations like Street of Steel or The Goldroad, etc., that serve the same purpose in CoC of helping pay for cards. The brilliant thing about CoC is the resourcing innovation: it basically took a bad concept of "lands" in Magic (resources to pay for cards), and allowed you to use ANY card in your deck as a resource. This actually provides a great level of flexibility that AGoT can't even provide, since in AGoT if you draw locations and no characters for a few turns, you're in trouble, just like if you got "mana-screwed" in M:tG. CoC's restrictions are more about tempo since without very specific cards, you have build up your domains, and even then, once you've built them up you are still typically limited to 3 plays each round. It's just a much tighter economy.

I think why CoC is perceived to be struggling is for a few reasons:

  1. The IP isn't as flashy as Star Wars or A Game of Thrones.
  2. The popularity of other LCGs has cannibalized this game's competitive player base.
  3. There is no real transparency to know for certain how many people play, and if they play it more casually with friends.
  4. The existing player base is dilluted throughout the world with very few large pockets that talk about it on a consistent basis.

This doesn't mean that it is struggling, though. Portland has created a very thriving meta with a lot of participants because of someone's hard work. Players play when there are other players, just like any other social activity. Players jump ship for Netrunner or AGoT because there are more players, but that doesn't mean that you can't find players for CoC. It only takes 2 to play! :)



#13 KrissS666

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 10:11 AM

You're right about many things : community is important to maintain a game activity, but now i play often to Agot, i realize it's much easiest to play with it's mechanics than Coc.

I'm agree coc have a really good mechanics, but you need to REALLY be good at sourcing, so if it's too hard, you can't keep all players.

A game need a good balance for difficulty, maybe for Coc it's a little too much and you need to ressource each turn (3 or 4 first round) so you have lack of options (cards) to counterattack.

I know each faction has advantage and disavantage but in fact the lack of options with your drawing can be the same as the Mtg's mana problem.

The fact is , right now i really have trouble to go back to deckbuild on Coc and as i said, i used to play a lot of online games (lackey, octgn).

I try to make my contribution to the online community, but it's seams it's not only the other lcg fault if Coc fail to keep players !

Change stories issues could be a good way to change the flow of the game : in all my games, we used very few times the stories effects because they give not a bonus to the winner or better option for the opponent (like drawing effect, but if you won the story at your turn, your opponent will draw AND use the cards so you lost the board advantage !!).

Other times you want to use a special effect (like destroy relic in play), but you don't draw it or too bad, you don't use the set with this card : with tournament rules you can't make a custom story deck AND it's the same for both players.

Same with conspiracy and the explanation from Damon : effect is for both players make conspiracy totally useless.

 

Sorry for my post, because i used to like this game, but i'm thinking some changes should be done to the mechanics to grab more players and keep "oldest"
 



#14 dboeren

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:07 PM

I don't think I agree with very much of that at all, Kriss.

1.  Stories aren't as useless as you think.  No, they aren't triggered all the time but it's not THAT uncommon.  I usually do about one per game.

2.  The resourcing mechanic in CoC I think is one of the greatest strengths of the game.  Deciding what to resource and where should be very tough decisions and poor decisions here can cost you.  Not having to make these hard decisions isn't a sign of a better game, it's a sign of a simpler one. Personally, I think just using plain money like AGoT and Star Wars is a bit of an "easy mode" way for the player to pay for their cards and it also makes expensive cards too easy to play and harder to balance.  In Cthulhu you have to dedicate yourself to one big domain to get the really big stuff out - it's a bigger commitment than just lumping all your gold together for one turn at no opportunity cost.  Not to mention the decisions of when to NOT resource at all to keep an extra card, that's significant too.  As I improve in the game I find more and more often I can get away with skipping a resource turn for some small advantage even though I'm not fully "done" yet.

3.  I haven't made up my mind yet about the Plot deck.  I do like the idea of having something outside your normal deck, whether it's an Identity, Plot deck, L5R Stronghold, etc…  It's a natural place to put small bonuses or theming elements without having to worry that you won't draw them.  However, CoC is one of the early games and doesn't incorporate this and I don't really expect it to.  If it ever got anything, I think it would be something more like the Agenda cards in AGoT because those are easy to add to the game after-the-fact.

 



#15 Danigral

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:06 PM

KrissS666 said:

Same with conspiracy and the explanation from Damon : effect is for both players make conspiracy totally useless.

The conspiracies from the Yuggoth contract cycle are largely useless. These were designed by James Hata, I believe, and I really want to say that it was perhaps under a misconception of the rules that he designed those. It was a cool idea and I think it could have worked as the "owner" only getting those bonuses, but IIRC there was some confusion that resulted in a ruling coming down from Nate French, the lead designer. It's a call that I think could have gone either way.



#16 jhaelen

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:40 PM

dboeren said:

2.  The resourcing mechanic in CoC I think is one of the greatest strengths of the game.  Deciding what to resource and where should be very tough decisions and poor decisions here can cost you.  Not having to make these hard decisions isn't a sign of a better game, it's a sign of a simpler one.

Seconded. For me, the resourcing in CoC is one of the main reasons why I like it better than AGoT. Somewhat related is the ability to combine any number of factions in a deck while in AGoT you're (almost) restricted to mono-decks.

And that's just the mechanics. I also happen to like the CoC IP better than AGoT, but in that I'm clearly in the minority. To me, AGoT is simply yet another generic fantasy setting of which I'm bored to death.

Netrunner, on the other hand is a long-time favorite of mine. I've played the CCG long before I ever became aware that there was also one related to CoC (I'm actually referring to the Mythos CCG, here!). I think Netrunner is probably at least mechanically the best CCG that's ever been released. The asymmetrical gameplay and the bluffing are brilliant. I'm also an old Cyberpunk fan, so the theme also resonates with me.

If I give up on playing CoC, it will be for Netrunner. But AGoT? Meh. I consider it something like the beta version of CoC.

And even if I should ever give up on playing CoC, I'll probably still continue buying the cards, simply because I like the art so much.



#17 dboeren

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:30 PM

I collect both Call of Cthluhu and Netrunner, but to be honest I usually don't have enough time to play both.  I mainly play Cthulhu, and most of my Netrunner is online with Lackey but not that often lately.

I kind of agree with AGoT.  I read a few of the books, found them kind of dull - it's more of a fantasy soap opera than anything else.  The HBO series is fine, but it just doesn't have the magic that Lord of the Rings has for instance.  Anyway…  The game is decent, but not being able to mix factions makes deck building less interesting and as I mentioned the resourcing decisions aren't that interesting.  If the other LCGs didn't exist I'd probably play it, but since something better does exist I'll go with that.

I also like the Cthulhu theme much more than AGoT, and I like that it's not nearly so much about a small number of named characters that everything revolves around.  Yes, there are the Ancient Ones, but most characters are effectively nobody in particular - the setting doesn't really even HAVE heroes in the sense that AGoT or Star Wars or Lord of the Rings do.






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